Chances are you might not have heard of Gonzalo “Gonchi” Rodriguez. Had he not become another motorsport fatality, chances are you probably would have. Rodriguez was a talented driver who in just a short space of time in F3000 marked himself as a future great. With two consecutive third-place championship finishes in two seasons, having scored three victories and four other podiums, he seemed destined for stardom when he made the jump up to America’s CART series, then at the height of its glory. He was picked up by the Penske team and finished a respectable 12th in his first race, ahead of his renowned team-mate and Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr.
His second CART race was to be at the famous Laguna Seca. In practice as we has braking for the legendary Corkscrew turn his throttle stuck open, causing his car to go off the track at 140mph before flipping over the barrier and landing upside-down. Rodriguez was killed instantly. The world of CART was thrown into shock. Sadly, tragedy was to strike again three races later in the finale when Greg Moore was killed in Fontana.
15 years on and “Gonchi” is now being remembered in a documentary of his own, featuring an all-star cast from the world of motorsport giving interviews on his life and career. Details on a release have yet to be revealed but already this is a film I can’t wait to see. Watch the moving trailer above and be (re)introduced to the story of a bright talent and personality taken away from the world all too soon.